By Shashank Nigam

A TransAsia Airways ATR 72-600 crashed into a river in Taipei, with several people reported dead. The incident occurred on 4th of February, shortly after takeoff from Taipei’s Songshan Airport just before 11am local time. The story broke on social media when an eyewitness uploaded dramatic footage of the airplane crashing in the river.

Investigators into the latest disaster are likely to focus on cockpit procedures and maintenance issues at the airline, as well as put pressure on the airline to review its maintenance and safety procedures considering the second crash involving TransAsia in the past seven months.

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Lessons in Crisis Communications from TransAsia crash

While we have summarised the blow-by-blow details of the incident in the Storify below, here are our key insights:

  1. Airlines are no longer the first source of information. Social media is. Hence, in a crisis, airlines should be the authoritative source of information
  2. In addition to traditional crisis protocols, airlines need to disseminate information online, using mediums used by passengers. In this case, Twitter should have been more proactively used, in English and Mandarin by TransAsia.
  3. Airlines need to show compassion, as was seen in the case of AirAsia QZ8501 and Tony Fernandes, since it’s for all to see
  4. If there’s one thing airlines need to get right on social media, it’s crisis communications.

 

  • Click here for more airline crisis communications case studies and best practices.
  • Download the latest “SimpliFlying Airline Crisis Guide” – An overview of 6 types of airlines crises concerning social media, including real-world case studies from recent years.
  • Preview Crisis Communications Quarterly Report – An in-depth report of the 15 most important airline crises and disruptions from the latest quarter, assessing how they were handled, and how they could have been handled better.
Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam is the CEO of SimpliFlying and a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought-leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior aviation executives globally, from Chile to Canada and from Sydney to San Francisco. Shashank's perspectives have found their way into major media outlets, including CNN Travel, CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg UTV, Mashable and in leading publications like Airline Business, ATW, Aviation Week, and others. Shashank studied Information Systems Management and Business Management at Singapore Management University and Carnegie Mellon University. Hailing from India, he splits his time between Singapore and Vancouver, among other cities.
Shashank Nigam
Shashank Nigam

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